When you learn to offer true forgiveness, transform your negative thoughts to positive ones, and express daily gratitude, you are on the quick path to immediate and long-lasting happiness. But human beings are nothing if not social animals.
Recognizing the Importance of Relationships
You need look no further than the Internet and the explosion of popular social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to see the human need for bonding. Although these are all important tools for communication, nothing beats spending more time with loved ones in person.
In the now famous report, “Regrets of the dying”, nobody wished they had spent more time alone. Instead, they wished they had kept in touch with old friends:
“Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years.”
When you recognize why you are grateful for the people in your life, those relationships become stronger. That is because your appreciation of that individual or group of people fosters positive feelings in both you and them. This creates a wonderful cycle of gratitude and appreciation, which make the relationship stronger and both parties happier.
Improving Difficult Relationships
While surrounding yourself with positive minded individuals is very important in creating happiness in your life, as human beings, imperfections and individual attitudes often create stress in relationships. That is why any successful marriage counselor will tell you that healthy relationships require constant work.
You need to begin to work on your relationships with others so that they are positive rather than negative experiences.
If you are involved in a relationship that creates anger, frustration, and stress in your life, think about what makes you grateful for that particular person. Begin to focus on the positive rather than negative aspects of the relationship dynamics. Forgive yourself for any shortcomings in the past, and do the same for your friend, spouse, family member, or coworker.
Everyone has someone in their life that is weighing them down like an anchor. You do not have to totally eliminate these people from your life. But you can limit the amount of time you spend with them, and focus on being a positive and happy source of energy when you are together.
Choose How You React to Others
One of the best ways to transform your personal relationships into healthy, happy ones is to focus on yourself. Many times you may catch yourself saying, “That person makes me unhappy.” But what you are actually saying is that your reaction to their behavior is causing negative feelings.
Don’t forget that the only thing you have control over in your life is your own behavior, including the way you respond to outside influences. If an important relationship in your life is causing you unhappiness, take personal responsibility over the root causes of incompatibility and work to relieve them.